The Guinness PRO14 Dream Team for the 2018/19 season diplomatically features players from 11 of the 14 participating clubs.
The outcome will be a disappointment to Benetton. In the list of the 45 players nominated for inclusion by a panel of more than 75 media who have covered the tournament, the Italians had scooped seven nominations, two more than this weekend’s finalists Glasgow and four more than Leinster.
Four forwards – Epalahame Faiva, Marco Riccioni, Federico Ruzza and Braam Steyn – and three backs – Dewaldt Duvenage, Monty Ioane and Ratuva Tavuyara – were nominated. In the end, though, only winger Ioane magaed to earn selection.
It left Edinburgh, Munster, Connacht and Ulster instead coming out jointly as the top clubs as they each had two players included. Saturday’s finalists Glasgow and Leinster bagged just a single spot each. Competition in the voting was claimed to be incredibly close, with only a handful of positions selected with a clear majority.
The Dream Team includes the Guinness Players’ Player of the Season – Bill Mata of Edinburgh. Rabz Maxwane of the Toyota Cheetahs is another award winner included. The winger scored a record-equalling 14 tries in the season – nine of them scored away from home – and was voted in as the left wing.
— PRO14 RUGBY (@PRO14Official) May 23, 2019
Only three players from last season’s Guinness PRO14 Dream Team were selected for the second season in succession, the second row pairing of Tadhg Beirne (Munster) and Scott Vardy (Leinster) getting the repeat nod while John Cooney’s impressive performances at Ulster kept him in the No9 shirt.
The team was revealed on a TV special aired by Premier Sports and eir sport on Thursday night.
GUINNESS PRO14 DREAM TEAM 2018/19
1. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh)
2. Ken Owens (Scarlets)
3. Zander Fagerson (Glasgow Warriors)
4. Tadhg Beirne (Munster)
5. Scott Fardy (Leinster)
6. Peter O’Mahony (Munster)
7. Colby Fainga’a (Connacht)
8. Bill Mata (Edinburgh)
9. John Cooney (Ulster)
10. Jack Carty (Connacht)
11. Rabz Maxwane (Toyota Cheetahs)
12. Stuart McCloskey (Ulster)
13. Rey Lee-Lo (Cardiff Blues),
14. Monty Ioane (Benetton Rugby)
15. Dan Evans (Ospreys)
WATCH: The behind the scene documentary by RugbyPass on the 2018 PRO14 final
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